Tuesday, October 8 2019

oversleeping, frustration, soup, giraffes, and chores

1148 words

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Dear Journal,

Good morning everyone. On this drippy, cold day I hope you have something warm to wear, and a nice hot cup of coffee to sip on. This morning I overslept, sitting up in bed at 7:00 AM - a full twenty to thirty minutes after I usually get up. That added lots of variety to this morning. As I briskly made my way down the stairs to let the dogs out and get them their breakfast, I rearranged my morning in my head and concluded it wouldn’t be so bad. And it’s not bad, so long as I don’t spend too much time writing. Normally going five minutes over just means I have five fewer minutes to get ready, but today it will mean five fewer minutes to catch my bus, which is a lot harder to do. But I’m here now. My backpack is packed for work, I’ve got my shoes on, and I’m going to see how much of this delicious coffee I can drink before I need to fly out the door to the next adventure.

Yesterday’s theme was “frustration”. Work started out well enough, but something in my JIRA permissions got screwed up and I needed to wait for IT to fix it. I did as much work as I could, but that small thing kept me from getting a production change out yesterday, and I’ll have to find time for it today.

I guess “frustration” is a little dramatic. I still got plenty of work done. My Monday morning Today list is always the biggest, and yesterday I killed it. I caught up on work reading, worked through the morning, then over lunch I caught up on emails and educated myself on how to make chicken wild rice soup.

For lunch I heated up some leftover peposa. And because “what are you eating” is a pretty common question when I heat up that heavenly piece of meat and fill the break room with smells of peppercorns and garlic, I’ve discovered it’s a lot easier to say “Italian chuck roast” then to explain what peposa is. It also makes me sound a lot less like a foodie jagwad.

After work, I caught the bus home and found Marissa and Rodney raking the leaves. From what I hear, they had a pretty action packed day that took them to the zoo, out to lunch at Portillo’s, running errands at Home Depot, and outside to clean up the yard. Rod was actually having so much fun with her that he was dragging his feet to get in the car to go to Hy-Vee with me, despite being promised free bread. And when a toddler drags their feet, it’s in the very literal sense. He refused to walk, and his feet limply dragged on the ground as I carried him over to his car seat.

Rodney eventually got into it, and soon we were at Hy-Vee picking up what we needed to make for soup. As Rod got in a better mood, I got in a worse mood. Hy-Vee was having one of those days where they were out of everything, understaffed, and inexplicably busy on a early weekday evening. They were out of garlic, fresh bread, and heavy cream. The heavy cream particularly set me off because peering through the empty fridge, I could see a whole box of it sitting on a pellet. If I didn’t have Rodney with me, I could have seen myself just playing dumb and wandering back there to get it. There’s the theme of the day again - frustration.

The frustration continued at the checkout line. Their card reader was acting up, and the guy in front of me had a pretty bizarre shopping payload stuffed into a single basket. It was one of those shopping trips where you stand in line for twice the time it took you to find everything. When it was my turn, the exhausted cashier asked “did you find everything OK?”. For a second I thought about listing the things that they were out of, but I was afraid of sounding like a tool.

Rodney and I head home, and I started cooking the soup. I was excited to try my remixed version of the chicken wild rice soup. I sweat some onions and garlic in my dutch oven with nutmeg and cumin, then added chicken stock and sliced chicken thighs, allowing it to simmer for about twenty minutes before sneaking in a box of instant wild rice. In another saucepan, I melted a stick of butter and added a half cup of floor, whisking it together into a roux. Slowly, I whipped in the half and half. Once the rice had a few minutes to cook, I added the cream & roux to the dutch oven and mixed. At this point, I thought we were in trouble, because there were some clumps floating around, but I did my best Chef John impression and kept my composure. He would have said “Don’t lose hope. Just cover it and don’t touch it for fifteen minutes. Hey that’s just you cooking.”

The soup turned out really well, and was a welcomed ending to a frustrating day. As we ate, Rod and Marissa talked about their trip to the zoo and all the animals they saw. Rod even brought his toy giraffe along, and I could only imagine his excitement when he was able to parade it around the real giraffes. “What a giraffe party it was”, recounted Marissa.

After we put Rod to bed, Marissa worked on frames in her shop and I hacked on the hub. Last night I finally fixed the data volume issue. The website is now happily reading and writing data to and from my NAS, and I fixed a number of bugs under the hood as well. I added our chores back in, and out of excitement I even added a few extra to fill up Thursday evening and Saturday morning - respectively, straightening up the deck and cleaning out the car.

At 11, Marissa and I met on the couch to watch a little more of Blade Runner. It was really bumming us out, but it got pretty good last night. We have about twenty minutes to go.

So that’s my day. In a few moments, I’ll slug the rest of this coffee and run outside to catch the bus. I haven’t looked at my work schedule yet, but to the best of my knowledge it will feel like a Tuesday. I’m going to get my change out into production, then pick another task and do my best to destroy it.

Hope you have a great day today, reader. I don’t have time to proofread this, so typos be damned.